5th Update, Monday AM: Frozen 2 is coming in exactly where we expected to: $130M. Disney reported that the sequel to the 2013 movie had a better Sunday than they anticipated, $38.4M to yesterday morning’s $35.4M which put their 3-day at $127M. Frozen 2 scored the best November opening for an animated pic ever at the domestic B.O, exceeding 2004’s The Incredibles ($70.4M) and it’s the fifth highest stateside opening for the fall month ever. Worldwide, Frozen 2 is a record opening for an animated pic, hands downs with a revised upward take of $228.2M international, $358.2M global.
4th Update, Sunday FINAL: Both in the U..S/Canada and worldwide, Disney’s Frozen 2 is the highest grossing animated pic of all-time. Disney is reporting $350.2M worldwide, which bests Toy Story 4‘s global record of $240.9M from June. It also blows away the $242M projection Nancy and I were seeing earlier this week. As we mentioned on Friday, Disney flew past the $3 billion mark stateside over the weekend with $3.067B to date. It’s the third time that Disney has made industry figure with that number and they’ll feasibly beat their $3.09B record this year. With Fox, they currently count $3.5B. Watch them crack past $4 billion from both studios’ product after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens.
Frozen 2’s domestic opening weekend is back up to the bottom range of where we first day it on midday Friday –around $130.7M — this after a super Saturday that grossed an estimated $50M, +20% over Disney’s reported Friday figure+ previews of $41.8M (industry was seeing more, see below.). Disney is seeing $127M, but I bet you it comes in higher tomorrow. Disney thanks to Fox also has bragging rights to second place with Ford v Ferrari making a second reported weekend of $16M, -49% for a 10-day take of $57.9M. Again that opening for Frozen 2 is the best that November has ever seen, beating the 3-day of Disney’s 2004 The Incredibles ($70.4M), Illumination/Universal’s The Grinch ($67.5M), but also Frozen‘s $67.3M 3-day and extended $93.6M Thanksgiving 5-day.
Frozen 2 is the fifth highest opening for November of all-time behind Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($158M), Twilight Saga: New Moon ($142.8M), Twilight Breaking Dawn 2 ($141M), Breaking Dawn 1 ($138.1M) and ahead of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 ($125M). Imax drove $18M of Frozen 2‘s global business, the best ever for animated pic, beating Incredibles 2‘s $15.6M.
Frozen 2 led all titles to a total of $201.7M this weekend, +85% from last weekend but 7% off from a year ago per Comscore? Why is that? Because this weekend comps to Black Friday weekend a year ago. Frozen 2 rose November ticket sales for the period through today to $666M, still 27% off from last November which ended with $1.065B and 31% off from November 2012, the record holder with $1.093B. The last time November ticket sales were this low was 2015 and we ended the month with $900.8M.
Domestic Imax grossed $8.37M, the second best for the large format pic after Incredibles 2‘s $14.6M. Per Disney exits, families accounted for 70% of business, adults 23% and teens 7%. Frozen 2 remained young with the under 25 crowd per Cinemascore repping 44% to the first pic’s 43%. As we mentioned previously, Mid-West and South were the best territories.
In China, Frozen 2 racked up a $54M debut, its highest offshore territory, with $19M on Sunday. That’s the highest opening ever for a Disney/Pixar title in the PRC.
Sony’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood also had a sunny Saturday with $5.1M, +13% over Friday for an opening estimated at an OK $13.1M for this $25M production. Sony says it’s $13.5M.
STX in 4th place with 21 Bridges is officially reporting an underwhelming $9.3M opening for the Chadwick Boseman cop crime pic after a $3.57M Saturday, +7%. The hope in the wake of Frozen 2 is for these later pics, especially A Beautiful Day with awards season, to leg out.
And this just in, Lionsgate’s paid sneaks for MRC and Rian Johnson’s Knives Out racked up $2M at 936 locations which played the whodunit on Friday and Saturday at 7PM.
It easily stands to reason that Frozen 2 would open so high, hot off of the 2013 film being the highest grossing animated pic of all-time with $1.27B. Further underscoring that Frozen was a phenomenon was how a year later in 2014 after the pic was in the rear view mirror, it was racking up tons of cash in licensing with reports as high as $5B.
However, Disney didn’t rest on its hands in pushing the sequel, rather like any sequel tentpole, they plot its box domination like a D-Day raid. While Disney typically programs their big animated pic in November over Thanksgiving, they moved up the release of Frozen 2 to this weekend when they saw no other studio made dibs on the pre-holiday weekend.
“I think the marketing teams are geniuses and with all the talent traveling all over and the incredible music they launched with the incredible songs, it was Disney’s marketing department doing what they do best which is unique and magnificent,” beamed Cathleen Taff, Disney President of Distribution and Franchise management this morning.
We already mentioned how the pic’s first trailer back in February was the most watched for an animated pic in its first 24 hours with 116M from organic and purchased global views. It was a surprise drop with no warning, with the trailer showcasing a darker tone and a more expansive journey of the beloved characters with a cool sequence of Elsa jumping big oceans waves and freezing them, determined to not “Let It Go” and get where she was going. The trailer played in theaters with Captain Marvel and Aladdin. The first full trailer debuted June 11 on GMA/online and was amplified with a 60-second spot placement in America’s Got Talent; it played in theaters on Toy Story 4 and The Lion King. The final trailer also debuted on GMA/online on Sept. 23, amplified with a daylong digital media blitz and 60-second spot in season premiere of The Voice and The Masked Singer; it played in theaters on The Addams Family and Maleficent Mistress of Evil. Other media hits include CW premiere block Oct. 8-11 in key programming for teens/millennials including Riverdale, Charmed, The Flash, Nancy Drew, and a Halloween surround in Toy Story of Terror (ABC); Modern Family‘s Halloween episode; It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (ABC); The Simpson Treehouse of Horror (Fox); and Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween.
Corporate synergy and external partners took part in custom integrated campaigns that included in-show integrations, primetime stunts, network endorsements, and talent-hosted content. Highlights include “Friendsgiving” stunt night on ABC in key programming like The Connors, black-ish, and Bless this Mess; Modern Family integration on Oct. 30 in which Gloria dresses as Elsa for the Halloween episode; custom intros & special looks in The Masked Singer on Fox; filmed interview and special look during a primetime stunt on The Voice on NBC; Women of Impact feature on Frozen 2 director Jennifer Lee on Nat Geo Wild; “Frozen Weekend” takeover featuring cast on Freeform; Telemundo program on LatinX Now! featuring hosts Claudia Vergara & Nastassja Bolivar.
The sequel’s music blasted off on Sept. 30 with Idina Menzel’s “Into the Unknown” with custom spots online and on broadcast (The Voice) along with the announcement of major recording artists providing end-credit versions of new songs: Panic! At The Disco (“Into the Unknown”), Kacey Musgraves (“All is Found”), and Weezer (“Lost in the Woods”).
Other PR stunts included a Frozen Crosswalk: The Musical on the Late Late Show with James Corden, a “History of Disney Songs” stunt with Kristen Bell on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, a cast surprise appearance to launch Holiday Season at Disneyland, a Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony for Bell and Menzel, Josh Gad filling in as host for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and a People Magazine special issue celebrating the film and franchise. Outdoor promos included placements in Marriott Times Square, NY; 1-hour Roadblock of over 1,800 Digital Screens in NY; Penn Center Digital Signage, NY; Las Vegas Digital Wall and LA Live. Crosswalk: The Musical below:
In regards to the the sequel’s global talent tour, that kicked off at Annecy in June, with filmmakers and talent making numerous stops around the world to show footage and do press. Directors Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, and producer Peter Del Vecho went to Mexico, Rome, Paris, London, Japan, and Korea. They were joined in Japan by songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Filmmakers also visited Iceland, Norway, and other destinations in Europe, as well as Indonesia, Taiwan, and soon Brazil.
Promo partners counted 15 across technology, fashion, and consumer brands: Enterprise Rent-A-Car, McDonalds, Glade, Ziplock, Google, JCPenny, Nature’s Own, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Juicy Juice, ColourPop, Columbia, Verizon, LEGO, Ice Breakers. Below is Frozen 2‘s Fearless by Nature Fashion collection at JC Penny:
October 4 was Frozen 2 consumer product launch day with retailers like Walmart adn the Disney parks flooding their shelves with Elsa and Anna dolls.
More digital highlights (we reported some previously, like the sequel’s 1 billion social media universe) included a global partnership with Google to develop 20 all-new stories inspired by Frozen 2 for the Google Nest Mini & Assistant-enabled devices. The stories, each told by characters from the film, were promoted with a massive linear and digital media campaign that was duplicated in ten countries around the world.
Digital media placements include Fire TV takeover on the 5-day countdown, Twitter spotlight trend for ticket-onsale and opening day, Fandango homepage takeover, VEVO Living Room takeover, Snapchat national lens & filter, IMDb takeover.
There were custom executions with Twitter to engage the core fan base on the platform, including 12-hour live stream of the final trailer to encourage repeat viewing, and unique conversation threads that keyed of major moments in content and in the campaign, i.e. the Charades sequence from the film:
Studio-reported figures as of this morning:
WEEKEND B.O. FOR NOV. 22-24
3rd Update, Saturday AM w/chart: After rivals went gaga for Disney’s Frozen 2 with their B.O. estimates yesterday, the sequel is calming down to $117M-$130M projections after a first day of $42.4M, which includes Thursday’s $8.5M. Make no mistake, that’s still a phenomenal 3-day start for an animated pic in November, and Frozen 2 continues to hold that record. Plus, this is the best business exhibition has seen this month in the wake of such disasters as Terminator: Dark Fate and Charlie’s Angels. Disney reports that in regards to the building global tally, Frozen 2 is already at $100M.
PostTrak exits into last night remained strong with general audiences and kids giving the Jennifer Lee-Chris Buck directed movie 4 1/2 stars, but CinemaScore was a tad more critical this time around, with moviegoers going from an A+ on the first film to an A- on this one. Also, the thinking on the slightly lower projection stems from this being the weekend before Thanksgiving, with a greater multiple in store with K-12 schools out at 41% on Monday, along with 14% college, rising to 100% on Thanksgiving and Friday, per Comscore. Elsa and Anna’s opening day this time around is higher than Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ($29.7M), Twilight ($35.9M), and not far from such pics as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 ($45.6M) which ended up with a $102.7M opening.
Frozen 2 drew 64% females, with 37% under 17 years old, that latter number expected to rise today. Diversity mix was 52% Caucasian, 23% Hispanic, 15% Asian/Other, & 10% African American. The sequel played best in the Mid-West & South which is standard for a Disney animated pic. 3D drove 9.5% of the business.
To say that Frozen 2s social media universe was on fire is an understatement, with RelishMix reporting that the sequel counted 900.7M before opening on its way to 1 billion across Facebook, Facebook views, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube views. That’s far and above the average family pic, which is typically around 338.5M, and even ahead of Aladdin (736M opening SMU) and about to surpass The Lion King (925M at open).
Says RelishMix about the sequel’s social chatter, “Fans are discussing theories, expectations, and songs related to the sequel. Those who adored the original Frozen have different reasons why – the characters, the songs, the animation style, the time of year of release and more are mentioned as to why this film tugged at their heartstrings. Their expectation is that part 2 will do the same, and from the materials they’ve been enjoying, their expectations are justified.”
Frozen 2‘s viral video rate of materials is at a strong 19:1, ahead of the family genre rate of 18:1. Frozen’s official Facebook page, which was the same as the 2013 film, is earning over 10K new fans daily. “This rate is certainly in a handful of the highest of movies this year. Finally, the movie’s top clips on YouTube are earning over 61K daily views on average, once again far exceeding the genre average 28.5K,” reports RelishMix.
It doesn’t end there. There’s Kristen Bell with 15.5M followers, plus Idina Menzel, who brings the Broadway crowd with close to 4M, and they are out there promoting nonstop. “Bell has been doing a great job on the talk show circuit recently, sharing all her experiences of making this sequel from Ellen to GMA. And, she’s using her social reach to share these BTS moments and ‘secrets’ with fans, too,” continues RelishMix. Bell’s husband Dax Shepard even hysterically promoted Frozen 2 on Conan with a clip, “because we live in California, which is a community property state, which means anything she acquires during our marriage is half mine. So, we have the same exact stake in Frozen 2.”
And the soundtrack is another awesome piece of power Disney wields in tubthumping Frozen 2. Their YouTube Disney Music VEVO page counts over 16.5M subscribers, with such hot hits from the sequel being Panic at the Disco’s take on the song “Into the Unknown” (1.4M views), as well as Menzel’s original of the song, which is clocking 2M views. “Subsequently, fans have ripped and re-posted the clips, sometimes as lyrics videos, other times as ‘how-to’ play on the piano, etc… and it’s all built toward Frozen 2‘s opening,” says RelishMix.
Back in February, Disney dropped the first trailer to Frozen 2, which became the most-viewed for an animated pic ever in its first 24 hours with 116.4M, besting Incredibles 2’s record of 113.6M (those are for organic and purchased views). “Disney, to its credit, has amassed one of the largest social media footprints of all studios, especially when tallying in the Disney, Pixar, and other tangential organizations under the umbrella, as they are typically all engaged to support films like Frozen 2 that have a lot of anticipation. That said, the overall strategy of a very early teaser followed by another couple of trailer drops interspersed with big, event-worthy social materials – and capped with a final month of heavy, diverse social media clips and fun, has worked for Maleficent 2, The Lion King, Toy Story 4 and now Frozen 2. All of these films had tremendous brand partners, shareable soundtracks, and social media materials that kept the fire well fueled leading to open,” says RelishMix.
Sony’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood drew $4.5M last night on its way to a 3rd place $13M opening to Disney/Fox’s Ford v. Ferrari, which is seeing a $15.75M second weekend, -50% for a 10-day of $57.7M in 2nd place. Beautiful Day cost a reported net of $25M, and off the pic’s 4 stars and 66% definite recommend, the anticipation is that a big multiple is in store. For, as we predicted, the female audience for this pic is being stolen by Frozen 2. Women over 25 showed up at 45%, with men over 25 at 38% and men under 25 at 8%, women under 25 at 9%. 59% were over 35 years old. The mix was 67% Caucasian, 16% Hispanic, 9% Asian/Other, and 8% African American. Theaters in New York, California, Utah, Texas and Pennsylvania were among Friday’s top grosses.
“This film has run a standard campaign and not over-complicated its message: that, if you’re looking for a feel-good, family friendly film this holiday season, look no further than Neighborhood,” says RelishMix. “But cast activation (on social) is one of the film’s weaknesses.” Tom Hanks, despite having 16M on Twitter, hasn’t promoted the pic, which is similar to his other pics. Social Media universe was OK at 109.1M, with a higher viral video at 15:1. Still, conversation has been upbeat, with potential moviegoers saying they cried during the trailer, or “in from the start,” with even fans of the Focus Features doc on board to see this feature narrative with Hanks as Mister Rogers. With 96% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, Beautiful Day is the best-reviewed movie out of this weekend’s wide entries, even higher than Frozen 2‘s 75% Certified Fresh.
STX’s 21 Bridges earned $3.3M at 2,655 last night and is looking at $9.3M opening. Not impressive, for this older male skewing pic (men over 25 repped 39%). First, the cop action pic is a tired genre on the big screen. That said, these types of meat-and-potato action films are typically released at this time of year, i.e. Ninja Assassin from Thanksgiving 2013 ($13.3M opening, $38.1M final from 2.9x multiple and B CinemaScore) and the Dwayne Johnson Thanksgiving 2010 pic Faster (3-day $8.5M which ended with 2.7x at $23.2M, C+ Cinemascore), so that’s why 21 Bridges is here on the marquee. Most of its business, from 35% African American, 33% Caucasian, 19% Hispanic, & 13% Asian/Other, was on the East Coast, which even there was OK. The pic cost $33M and was produced by STX, MWM Studios, and Huayi Brothers. STX’s exposure is modest on this, with half the pic’s budget covered via foreign deals, plus two partners on top of that.
Despite having a good social media universe of 82M, video viral rate of materials were low at 8:1. Social media chatter was mixed, with naysayers griping that “this cop/action genre doesn’t seem cinema-worthy. They feel like they’ve seen the shoot-em-up, cops action extravaganza before, and that 21 Bridges is played-out. Some are also discouraged by the mixed reviews trickling in, which surely play a part in the decision to holiday moviegoers who have so many choices this time of year,” adds RelishMix. That said, those who bought tickets weren’t totally turned off by the Chadwick Boseman movie at 4 Stars and a B+ Cinemascore.
BOX OFFICE FOR NOV. 22-24
2nd Update, Friday Midday: Frozen 2 is bound to score the best opening for an animated pic in November with a current estimated weekend of $130M-$140M after a day’s gross of $45.9M (that includes last night’s $8.5M). At the bottom of its range, Frozen 2 would wind up being the fifth highest opening for November of all-time behind Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($158M), Twilight Saga: New Moon ($142.8M), Twilight Breaking Dawn 2 ($141M), Breaking Dawn 1 ($138.1M) and ahead of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 ($125M). Prior best 3-day for an animated pic belonged to Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles back in 2004 ($70.4M). Illuminaton/Universal’s The Grinch last year with $67.5M was the 2nd best. Frozen 2 also exceeds its original pic’s 5-day take of $93.6M (which is the Thanksgiving 5-day record). Overseas B.O. prognosticators are believing a $300M global start is in store.
Whatever happens today to Frozen 2, it’s going to be even better tomorrow after matinees. This is great news for exhibition which has been suffering this month from a slew of failed anticipated big pics, namely Terminator: Dark Fate and Charlie’s Angels. Heading into the weekend, Comscore was seeing the month just north of $450M, down close to a third from a year ago. Last year November delivered $1.065 billion, the fourth time in the month’s B.O. history and we’ll likely be north of $900M once the dust settles from Thanksgiving. Again, Frozen 2, in all its glory was self-fulfilling prophesy. The first film is the highest grossing animated movie of all-time at $1.27B, so, duh, the studio was going to make a sequel, which they rarely do for their non-Pixar/Disney type theatrical toons (Rescuers Down Under and Ralph Wrecks the Internet are among the few, not counting straight-to-video type titles).
How is everything else looking? In 2nd it’s Fox’s Ford v. Ferrari with $4.7M second Friday and a $16M second weekend, -47% with a $58M 10-day. Sony/TriStar’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is seeing a $13M-$14M opening off a $5M estimated Friday (which includes $900K previews) in 3rd place. STX’s 21 Bridges is seeing $3.3M today and between $8.8M-$10M over 3-days for 4th place. Lionsgate/Centropolis’ Midway and Paramount’s Playing With Fire are right now battling for 5th with around $4.8M apiece, both in their third weekend.
1st Update, Friday 8:20PM: Disney’s Frozen 2 fired up previews last night at 6PM raking in $8.5M, the best for an animated pic in November. That’s an amazing start for an animated pic in November, up there with such previews for summer family pics like Aladdin ($7M), Finding Dory ($9M) and Toy Story 4 ($12M). Last night’s cash is also ahead or around the previews for such notable November big pics as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ($8.75M), Twilight‘s midnight shows of $7.5M, and Thor: The Dark World‘s $7.1M 10pm shows.
Frozen 2‘s preview ticket sales also smash all prior Disney picks in November including Ralph Breaks the Internet ($3.8M off 6pm showtimes on its Tuesday during Thanksgiving week), Moana ($2.6M Tuesday) and Coco ($2.3M Tuesday).
Over in China, Frozen 2 grossed $11.4M including previews in its first day,the highest opening day for any Disney or Pixar movie in the PRC. Overall, foreign sales since Wednesday are at $18.6M from 26 markets. Frozen 2 opened at #1 in all markets and posted the highest animated opening day of all-time in Korea, Indonesia, Turkey, Philippines, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and UAE. Other markets going today include Japan, Mexico, UK, and Spain. Nancy’s sources estimate a $120M-$140M foreign opening for Frozen 2, and if domestic stays strong with at least $242M+, the sequel will score the best global opening for an animated pic of all-time, besting Toy Story 4‘s $240.9M current record.
Screen Engine/Comscore PostTrak audiences gave the pic 4 1/2 stars with parents 4 stars and kids under 12 4 1/2 with a 70% ‘must see right away’. General audience definite recommend is also at 71%. Mostly female audience, of course, with women under 25 leading at 33%, women over 25 at 30%, men over 25 at 22% and men under 25 at 16%. Parents and kids repped 52% of last night’s attendees. Moms outweighed dads, 58% to 42%. with girls under 12 greater than boys at 64% to 36%. Girls, of course, like the follow-up of Anna and Elsa more than boys at 92% to 76%. Diversity demos were 53% Caucasian, 22% Hispanic, 11% African American, and 9% Asian.
How gangbusters the movie goes this weekend, we will see. Fandango reports that Frozen 2 is their highest animated feature pre-seller in the online/digital ticket retailer’s 19 history, besting Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4. At the low, some think it’s $90M, while others are confident the pic could come in between $100M-$135M. Anything above $100M is most appreciated as exhibitors are hit starved in this tentpole dry November marketplace with Seeking Alpha reporting this morning that key exhibition stocks have hit new 52 week lows this morning with Cinemark (CNK -1.8%), AMC Entertainment (AMC -4.4%) and Marcus Corporation (MCS -4.9%). Even if Frozen 2 under-delivers, it will own the Thanksgiving and early December stretch before Sony’s Jumanji: The Next Level arrives on Dec. 13.
Today, the Jennifer Lee-Chris Buck movie expands to 4,440 theaters –the widest November opening of all-time besting 2015’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. Of that count, there are 2,500 3D locations, the full 400 screen IMAX network, 800 branded Premium Large Format screens, and 235 D-Box/4D enhanced locations.
The first pic’s previews back in 2013 on a Tuesday night before Thanksgiving took in $1.1M from shows that began at 10PM.
Meanwhile, TriStar Pictures’ A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood grossed $900K last night off showtimes that started at 4:30 p.m. in 2,865 locations. We are projecting $14M for the weekend. Pic is expected to file around the mid teen range, but leg out off its splendid reviews which are at 97% certified fresh. Great audience response here for the Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers movie with 4 1/2 stars on PostTrak and a 69% definite recommend. Last night’s audience for Beautiful Day was 48% females over 25, 38% males over 25, 8% females under 25 and 6% males under 25.
STXfilms/AGBO crime feature 21 Bridges made $700K last night off 2,665 screens. That figure is not that far from another older guy driven STX caper pic Den of Thieves, which did $950K in its Thursday preview ahead of its $15.2M opening. The Chadwick Boseman pic is expected to file between $10M-$12M. STX produced 21 Bridges with MWM Studios and Huayi Brothers Pictures for a net reported production cost of $33M. PostTrak exits gave 21 Bridges 4 stars, men over 25 at 42% leading, females over 25 next at 38%, guys under 25 at 10%, and females under 25 at 9%. A 57% definite recommend here with African Americans turning out at 34%, Caucasians at 32%, Hispanics at 19% and Asians at 9%.
Among regular pics in release, more Disney good cash was earned by Fox’s Ford v. Ferrari with $2M yesterday, -16% from Wednesday for a first week of $42M. Lionsgate/Centroplis’ Midway was second with $715k, -10% for a full second week of $12M, two week tally of $38.4M. New Line/Bron’s Good Liar ranked third with $565K, -9% for a first week of $8.4M.